It’s still considered pretty common for PC platform to get the overall average ports of console-targeted blockbuster gaming titles, but going by Electronic Arts'(EA) CFO, it might just be the other way round for the game publishing/developing studio. Giving a speech at the UBS Global Technology Conference, Blake Jorgensen mentioned that the company has always aimed for the highest spec PC, and then scaled back accordingly for consoles or lower end rigs.
One of the questions that came up during the discussion was regarding EA’s flexibility in accordance with console cycles. Shifting all of its titles to the new and updated Frostbite Engine has meant that such dramatic upgrades will only need to take place for one engine, instead of “25”, according to Jorgensen.
Additionally, he states that Microsoft and Sony shifting towards lot more iterative hardware upgrades, and also services such as backwards compatibility between these iterations will prevent any relatively old titles dying at retail. Thus, it will make the investment in video games less risky than it always has been.
In simple terms, Jorgensen speculates that EA’s profit margins won’t need to be scaled up or down according to new and consistent console updates because the publisher will never really need to invest in updated technology all too often: they’re already developing their games to be able to exploit the most powerful of rigs available.
You won’t see much margin upgrade at all, we build all of our games to the highest possible spec, which is typically a high-powered PC, and as the consoles come in, [which] may not be the highest spec, we may actually dummy down the console product to meet the spec of the console. In a world where the console looks more and more like a PC, that’s good for us.
As far as us gamers are concerned, that’s only good news for us, and considering the smooth launch of Battlefield 1 just last month, it also bodes well for the future.